create RAID before OS install?

I'm building a new system and am finding out things I should have done after the fact.

I have an Asus P8Z77-V Pro motherboard, and the manual gave some notes on RAID, but it did not make it clear that I have to enable RAID BEFORE the OS install.  A few questions arise in this new setup, and I'd rather not have to install the OS a million times.

Okay, so I wiped clean my SSD boot drive, and I have 2 WD drives I'm planning on RAID 0'ing.

I'm planning on have a dual-boot Windows 7 with Ubuntu Linux.  I have an SSD for the boot drive, and want the RAID as the shared storage.

In what order should I do:
a) create RAID 0 array
b) install Win 7 OS
c) install Linux OS

I know that I have to boot into the BIOS and change (apparently all at once) the controller from AHCI to RAID.  That's the step I thought I could do after install.  Oh so wrong ...

1) I know (b) comes before (c), but what about (a)?  

2) Do I create the RAID array in the BIOS before installing the Win OS?  

3) How will that affect the Linux OS?

Thanks!
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ugebAsked:
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KimputerCommented:
Yes, enable RAID in the BIOS (also if you see anything mention Option ROM, enable it). After another reboot, there will be a really short BIOS screen where it shows which key combo you need to press to configure the RAID, for Intel it's usually CTRL+i
After creating the RAID0 array, you can continue installing Windows and Linux.
Please note during installation, if you see TWO identical disks (both with the same size as the hard disk), make sure you load the correct drivers, until you see ONE disk, with double the size of the hard disks.
For Linux it shouldn't be a problem as stated here:
http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-020663.htm
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ugebAuthor Commented:
I set my mobo to RAID, but then when I hit ctrl-I (which you said and my mobo manual says), I see the really short BIOS screen, and I hit ctrl-I again or even hold it down, but I've yet to get to a screen where I can create the RAID set.  It took me to a screen that simply said something like 'press a key to boot from bootable drive'.

When do I create the RAID array?  Before installing the OS?  

I tried installing the OS without creating the set (because I couldn't get to that screen) and it installed everything, and at the very end said it couldn't install because of the hardware configuration.
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KimputerCommented:
You should see something mentioning ctrl + i right after the normal bios messages, otherwise check your bios again for the setting "option rom" (enable it).
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ugebAuthor Commented:
Do you know why my system now takes 3 minutes to boot to Windows when both OS's are installed?  By comparison, my other Win 7 system takes about 30 seconds for a full boot.  This one, though, hangs on the Windows startup screen for almost 3 minutes, and that's with an SSD boot drive!
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ugebAuthor Commented:
Never could get this to work.  It never brought up the menu.  I've moved on.
Thanks for trying.
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